Bitter experience teaches us that the subject of file management on iPads and iPhones is best left alone. Any suggestion that these devices are less than perfect is met with hostility and contumely. And we disparage iTunes at our peril.

So, if you love iTunes, and the concept of syncing all your files and content toots your whistle, then avert your eyes. What follows is addressed to those who prefer to control their own file management rather than leave it to automated applications.

Not all responses to previous ventures into these risky waters has been negative. We are grateful to some readers who have pointed us in the direction of really useful file management and transfer applications.

At the top of the list is a wonderful free application called Syncios. This is now our file management program of choice for shuffling content around between the iPad, iPhone and Windows PCs.

The Syncios (www.syncios.com) interface is beautiful. It looks elegant and it is a masterpiece of clarity in its operation. Once the iDevice is connected to the PC and Syncios is run the entire folder structure of the iPad or iPhone is laid out for easy management of photos, books, contacts, music and so on. In spite of its name Syncios does not automatically assume that you want the same content on one device as on another. You drag and drop by intention. We are truly grateful to the reader who drew this application to our attention. If you run a combination of iPad/Phone and Windows PC this is must-have.

For iGadget to MacBook we use iMacSoft. (There is also a PC version, both at www.imacsoft.com) This is nagware – you can use it without payment but every time it runs you get two buy-now nag screens. It costs about $26. iMacSoft is not as pretty as Syncios but it is just as easy to use and as effective as a file manager.

Airdroid logoFor Android devices we have recently installed an app called Airdroid (free from the Google Play store). Airdroid wirelessly connects an Android phone or tablet to a PC or Mac using an available WiFi network. It uses the computer’s web browser as the interface and connection between computer and phone or tablet is effected with a URL and ID or by scanning a QR code.

Airdroid gives total control of the device to the computer. You can even make calls, send and receive messages and take photos as well as playing music or any other stored media files without touching the Android device. This is the most amazingly fast, versatile and useful free app we have ever used.

(Send a comment to dpexpert if you have recommendations of other file transfer managers.)

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  1. An excellent app for image management and transfer is Photosync. Allows device to device transfer directly between, say, iPhone and ipad, and via wifi to a mac or pc. There is a client for the desktops. Also allows upload to numerous online services. http://www.photosync-app.com/

    There is an app called Photosync on the Google play store but it’s not the same thing.

    Otherwise I use Dropbox for most other stuff. Never use iTunes for file transfer, ever.

  2. charlie says:

    That airdroid looks useful but it wants permission to access just about everything on my phone. Not sure why it would need to be able to access my phone numbers and read and modify all my social media contacts. Am very wary of such things…

    • terry says:

      Charlie: I see what you mean. A wired device-to-device connection would be more secure. Using Airdroid could involve more trust than is prudent.

  3. Steveepac says:

    HI, The Airdroid has potential but I have found the MyPhoneExplorer to be a powerful Android and Apple phone management software for Desktop PCs. It includes: sync your phone with Outlook, Thunderbird, Sunbird, Lotus Notes, Tobit David, Windows Contacts, Windows Calendar,…
    One can also manage SMS, Calllists, Apps, Files, handle Calls, create backups… Connection can be via WiFi, USB-Cable or Bluetooth. Only problem I had was the need to be careful with syncs to avoid overwriting important info.

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